The trip that lasted a lifetime
Ah finally, our plan is finally landing in Cusco. The plane ride they're from D.C. went perfect, nothing went wrong, no hassles just went perfectly. Cusco is the closest place to Machu Picchu so from here on we will have to go by foot and bus. The city is a super busy place packed to the brim full of people and interesting things to see. But we came for one certain thing, and that's Machu Picchu. I didn't come alone, My friend Anna came along for the week, or two, long trip to see great sites and eventually the main destination. First, we checked into the Pariwana Hostel Cusco, it was a pretty cheap deal and we had no intentions of staying long so this was a great option for us. That night was great! The Lounge area is outside and has tons of beanbag chairs and had stuff like ping pong beside the bar. We hit a couple of local places for something to eat and all the foreign food was amazing and being surrounded with the Peru culture was so heartwarming and fun. The night raged on and was a great time but that morning at six o’clock we were up and ready to take on this trip to what is considered one of the greatest wonders of the world.
We decided to take the road less traveled of course and took the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This journey is a four-day hike from Cusco to the great mountain. The Inca trails were made throughout all the Incas land and this trail cuts through some of their previous ruins and sites. The trail starts not too far from where we were staying so the bus ride there was quick and smooth before we got onto the trail, We hit up a place to eat for breakfast but not too much because being sick on the trail is a no go. We had all of our overnight gear ready and this 4-day adventure was about to be the best trip either of us has experienced. Our gear consisted of water supplies, snack food, camp gear, fire starters, and a couple of things to help us through the next 4 days.
We started through the trail without a guide of course because who wouldn’t want to be a rebel like us? We’ll this decision came to bite us later on.
The rest of the day was just great! We saw beautiful sites and hikes many miles but the sites made everything worth it. Camping on the trail was amazing as well. The night sky glowed with stunning brightness and made all the surrounding nature that much better.
We ended the night with a fire and dinner then went back to the tent to rest for the next day.
This day is definitely gonna be a hard day to forget, it started so nice, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise and ate some of the stored food we had for this trip. I don’t think there is a better feeling than waking up on that trail and just looking out at what nature is capable of. After we got dressed for more hiking we packed up our things and started the trek for day 2 of the trail. Day 2 consists of hiking around the mountain to get to Machu Picchu so this was gonna be a day, not so much of sites and ancient ruins but of getting our FitBit steps up. This day would also end up being the scariest day of our lives, up to this point of course. During the trail, we got sidetracked and came off the trail probably half a mile or so and just so happen to cross past this 2003 Chevy Silverado which is kinda strange because why would anyone be out this far? We checked and it was empty but us being curious and everything keeps going to try and find an owner to this vehicle. A couple meters down the way we start to hear a chattering coming from behind a piece of shrubbery. We decide to go investigate… Next thing we knew we were caught stiff as a tree with 4 men forming a half circle in front of us with about two cases of guns and ammunition. Our obvious first reaction was to run but knowing that our bags were too heavy for us to catch much ground between them we had to find a place to hid until we could back on the trail. It was manhunt kinda like when you were a kid only this time it was real. We had to drop most of our stuff to keep pace so now we are being chased, little supplies, and in a foreign country. Our perfect vacation just turned into hell. We were lucky to get far enough away to feel comfortable enough to make camp for the night near some old ruins of the Incas.
It was around 3 am when I woke up in a cold sweat and all I could think about was those men and their tatted up skin, and the guns… I came to the conclusion that we had stumbled upon the wrong people and I have a feeling they don’t like witnesses. Anna was asleep still and I didn’t wanna wake her so I went outside to get some air and recap one what on earth just happened. For the first time in my life, I was responsible for a possible life or death situation. Having to take care of another person as well just doubles the pressure. But now, in the still night, everything seemed to be calm like was nothing to worry about. Well until I was headlights off in the distance which just so happen to be facing in our direction. Luckily it was a good 5 minutes away so in to wake Anna up and without hesitation, I drag her out of bed along with a single bag full of whatever I could pick up in one minute. We ran the opposing direction of them and let everything else we had. Them search the tent bought us a couple minutes which ended helping a lot. The Adrenaline running through me must have been 100 times any usual amount because I was flashing through the fields and at one point I had to slow down for Anna or we would have gotten separated. Those early hours of the morning were hard to stop and rest because we were so paranoid that they were right behind us. After 2-3 hours we finally stopped to rest and get some fresh legs. At this point, we are scrambling to figure out what we were gonna do next. We came to the conclusion we needed to get help first. Try and figure out what we just went through. At this moment we are deep in the Inka Jungle and must find civilization to contact authorities. This would be harder than we expected but luckily the bag I grabbed Had a compass on it and we knew that if we go north we will hit Cusco to find help. Couple hours later we were on the way to Cusco when we came across native pumas! Not being from the region made it hard for us to handle this. In this situation, we both kinda panicked and in the heat of the moments I end up dropping the compass! So now we are blindly running the jungle running from pumas and possibly gun smugglers and I still have no idea how this trip got so turned around. After another hour of pushing through the bush, we decide to call it a day and set up a makeshift camp to sleep in until the morning.
Day 5 That night was probably the best sleep I have gotten throughout the whole trip. Nothing is like sleeping under the stars in the most natural way. But other than that it was thankfully a calm night and no danger approached us. We decide to walk in the direction of the rising sun to hopefully find some sort of civilization. And after a couple of hours of walking through the mosquito-infested jungle, we came face to face with something way better than a village or landline. We had come aimlessly to the destination we had been looking for this whole time. Machu Picchu, It was more beautiful than any the pictures or billboards. It was honestly breathtaking and nothing could top it. With also finding our destination we also found a bunch of tourist who were kind enough to let us use their phones to call in the whole fiasco we just went through and to book a hotel room for us to stay the night in so we could get up the next day pick up the gear we left in the Inka jungle, hopefully, some of it would be left, which indeed it was. Then we got on the first flight we could book back to the U.S. but all in all, I would have to say it was one of the most Interesting/ craziest trips I have been on.